It is no secret that the prices of fuel are continuously rising every now and then, according to a research done by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an organization that gathers, examines, and distributes independent and unbiased energy data, with an aim of generating complete policymaking, effective marketplaces, and public knowledge of energy and its relation to the economy and the environment at large, the nationwide average for a gallon of regular gas in the middle of the first month of the year 2009 was $1.83. Then after three weeks, the price was $3.44, and in the year 2012, the regular price surpasses $4.00 in some parts of the country.
The consumption of fuel is a normal phenomenon with combustion engines that are internally installed in cars, this is because they have to burn fuel in order to gain the energy to propel a car to move. Nevertheless, the consumption of fuel is turning out to be an issue of concern when you come to realize that your car is consuming even more than it is meant to consume. The main reason why the prices of fuel are rising is; the worldwide demand for fuel is more than the exploration and factory volume. However, there are a couple of things that once put into consideration can help reduce the amount of money one uses on fuel. In this article, we will look at the tips that will help a car user to spend less on gas.
20 Drive using the correct gear
This tip mostly applies to cars that are manually controlled, this is because transmissions belonging to cars that are automatically controlled were built to shift up faster and more smoothly in the event that you slightly ease back on the accelerator once the vehicle gains speed. In a manually controlled car if you are driving using say, gear number three, but you are driving at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour, then you will require more energy in order to propel the vehicle to move, hence the car consumes more fuel.
Whenever you are driving using a gear that is lower than you actually need, you are increasing the risks of wasting fuel and making the engine work while in top gear, driving on hills and turns also tends to waste fuel.
In a manual car, you should shift up the gears as soon as the vehicle is ready to move to the next gear but you should not accelerate harder than necessary. Most people who use cars that are manually controlled waste a lot of fuel through the gear alone, and judging by the always rising prices of fuel, this mode of fuel waste will obviously live a big hole on your pocket.
19 Make sure to service your engine regularly
According to Paul Kaganzi, a mechanic who is also the managing director of Duke Car Technology, in the event that an engine is not properly tuned or there is a delay in maintenance servicing, the efficiency of the engine’s fuel automatically declines. In his statement, he adds that when it comes to the topic of petrol engines if you fail to renew the spark plugs that are worn out, elements in air cleaners or even filters for fuel as well as upkeep of the sensors of the throttle valve and oxygen valve, can lead to an increase in fuel use.
In the meantime, in a diesel engine, a rise in the consumption of fuel might be coming from fuel injectors that are dirty and dirty elements of air cleaning, as these two elements are vital for quick burning of the fuel when combustion is taking place. Once there is something like dust or something of the sought interferes with them, they tend to use more fuel than required. Most people ignore the fact that the engine needs frequent servicing so that the owners can reduce the amount of money they are using every day on fuel since it is not getting any cheaper.
18 Buy quality fuel
Professional mechanics like Paul Kaganzi have pointed out the fact that using fuels that are of poor quality can also increase the consumption of fuel in your vehicle. These days, you can have access to fuel from almost anywhere, for there are very many kiosks and people selling fake fuel using bottles. While this might be a life saver and even in most times tends to be cheaper, it is a major cause of your fuel budget being bigger. Hence, one ought to be careful as they attempt to save because they might end up using more.
Paul Kaganzi points out that if you go on to purchase adulterated fuel from dishonest roadside kiosks, there is a possibility that the fuel will not burn effectively and may need large amounts of fuel to propel the car to move.
As an alternative, vehicle owners should buy fuel from legitimate fuel stations. They have fuels that are combined with chemical flavors that clean the valves that intake petrol engines and injector jets of diesel engines in order to decrease the continuation of waste after the burn deposits. The fuel contains a chemical which oils the piston ring on the upper side and helps the engine run smoothly with less fuel. This improves the efficiency of the fuel.
17 Know when to use the A/C
In the words of the Peter Luyima the managing director of Genesis Auto Garage, who is also a professional mechanic, whenever a person is driving when the air condition is still on the person adds an extra weight to the engine hence it needs more fuel whenever the engine is running. Nevertheless, for a person who is driving at a speed that exceeds 80 kilometers per hour, the use of air-conditioning is better for the consumption of fuel than an open window, this is because an open window creates an aerodynamic drag.
Likewise, if it gets hotter in your car than outside your car, each time you are about to commence on a trip, it is recommended that you drive with the windows open for a few minutes in order to assist cool the vehicle before switching on the air-conditioning. Through driving with the windows open, you will save on the amount of fuel that would have been consumed while the air condition was still on. It is also not advisable to always keep your windows closed because it can affect your general health, you need fresh air running in and out of your vehicle.
16 Regularly monitor the pressure of your tires
Expert mechanics worldwide all come to a conclusion that the overall condition of your car tires can lead to an upsurge in the consumption of fuel. For the drivers who have experienced the pinch of just how much they spend daily on fuel just because of tires which are not properly inflated, know that monitoring the pressure of the tires is a top priority.
Paul Kaganzi clarifies that when tires are worn out, they tend to lose their grip or traction, this leads to the tire spinning faster so that it can be able to move. This consumes a lot of fuel without the owner of the vehicle even noticing.
Additionally, professional mechanics say that poorly inflated tires when it comes to not inserting the right amount of pressure in a tire, just as instructed by the manufacturer, may also be a cause to more consumption of fuel. He counsels that car owners ought to inflate their tires to the maximum pressure suggested by the manufacturer and should make sure that their wheels are aligned in a proper way. Taking good control of your tires will not only lessen the consumption of your fuel but also it prolongs the lifespan of your tire and also it improves the handling and control of your car.
15 Use cruise control when you are driving on the highway
A driver who uses the cruise control in his car whenever he is driving on the highway is actually saving fuel. Using the cruise control saves you fuel for precisely the reason you think: it makes you maintain your speed at a steady rate. A driver who is driving at a steady speed uses less fuel than when speeding. The cruise control has been built and given the ability to disengage the moment that you hit the brake pedal, and it will not engage at speeds which go beyond 40 kilometers per hour.
Whenever a person is driving without cruise control, they tend to have a regular pattern of slowing down, speeding up, slowing down, speeding up, etc. and the trend goes on like that. Hence every time the person has to pull that 3,500-pound hunk of steel back up to gain more speed, the person uses more fuel than they would have consumed if they had had just maintained it cruising steadily. As an addition, cruise control saves you from accidentally speeding too fast – from throwing an eye down and all of a sudden notice that you are doing 80 kilometers per hour -- which is the main waster of fuel.
14 Take your car for service on time
According to a research done by Peter Luyima, a professional mechanic, poor maintenance includes elements of servicing which were delayed and poor servicing which eventually leads to an overstraining of the service interval which eventually stops the air elements which combine to cause a very poor fuel consumption range which in turn leads to more consumption of fuel. Vehicles that are regularly taken for servicing not only enjoy the benefit of saving less on gas in the long run but also enjoy the benefit of the engine running smoothly without any hiccups. That also saves you fuel one way or another.
A vehicle that is not fuel efficient does tend to produce a lot of unwanted smoke to the environment and at the start of trips and on short trips, is desperately in need of services. One reason for this is that once the vehicle remains too long before being taken for servicing, dirt particles and other harmful substances that reduce the efficiency of the vehicle have the time to invade the car and makes it very hard for the engine to run smoothly hence consuming a lot of fuel on the long run.
13 Turn off the engine whenever it is not being used
Nowadays, with modern technology and advancements in the field of cars, most cars do not need to be warmed up by leaving the engine on idly before starting with your journey. Doing that simply wastes fuel in the long run. It is advisable that you start your vehicle the moment you are ready to leave for your destination. Once on the road, reduce the wastage of fuel through stopping the engine whenever your vehicle has stopped or is held up for a lengthy period of time.
Switching off the engine in such a scenario even for a short period of time makes you consume less fuel than is lost from the outburst of fuel that is involved in making the engine start again.
Most people are always in such a hurry that they do not see the need of switching off their engine every time they have stopped or every time the car is not in use. Such a scenario takes place when a person is driving then gets help up by traffic. These drivers keep their engine running when it is clear that they are going to be held up there for a while. Once you realize that the traffic is moving slowly or is totally held up, you should switch off the engine in order to save a few coins when it comes to the budget of the fuel.
12 Buy a Fuel-Efficient vehicle
As noted earlier, we are living in the twenty-first century, this means that technology is at its best. Likewise, more vehicles that are fuel-efficient are being created. These vehicles have undergone a number of testing to make sure that the vehicles are not only efficient in fuel consumption but also in every other aspect a vehicle ought to be efficient in. The great minds behind these technological advancements put into consideration very many factors when they were about to build these vehicles. They did conduct a number of different studies in order to find out about the main cause of high fuel consumption which leads to spending more on fuel.
They analyzed their results and they come up with these perfect vehicles. They will help you save a lot and not only in fuel but the general servicing of your vehicle. This is because, in as much as they likewise need servicing more often, it is not the same way you would take an old vehicle for servicing. The old vehicle tends to need more attention than the new model, and that, of course, means more money.
11 Use price guides which can be found online
While we are still on the topic of technology being at its best, it is good to point out that another way of saving fuel is by using the price guides for fuel which are readily available online. In these online platforms, you will see prices of different fuel from different companies, it is your responsibility to identify the cheapest fuel price and the one that will suit your car perfectly.
Through this, you end up getting cheaper alternatives for fuel than when you would actually go on the ground to check out prices.
This is a very reliable way to get fuel because you only need the internet and a gadget that can access the internet. If you have these two you will be able to gain access to the fuel price guides online. You will also know which fuel station has fuel and which fuel station does not. This is a very efficient way since it also saves you time and money compared to going to the actual fuel station only to found out that there is no fuel you would have wasted both time and fuel.
10 Remove luggage that is not needed from the car
Just the same way your body needs energy so that it can carry goods, a vehicle needs more energy to carry more weight. For us to have the said energy we need to eat a lot, likewise for a car to be able to have the much-needed energy required to carry more weight it needs to consume more fuel. The mentioned extra weight can be from anywhere, be it excessive passengers or in most cases people often tend to leave their luggage and unnecessary things in the trunk of their vehicles. These are the things that contribute in a major way to the excessive consumption of fuel without you even noticing.
Therefore, it is most advisable to be removing unnecessary luggage from the trunk of your vehicles, if you are not going to use them for the day why carry them in the first place? As you have seen, these extra weights do not save you the "time" of always unpacking whenever you travel but rather they just make your vehicle to become heavy thus consuming a lot of fuel. If you really want to start consuming less fuel thus using less money on the fuel, then you have some unpacking to do!
9 Plan your routes more efficiently
Even as it may appear to be more effective to take the shortest route, with an aim of not having to cover a long distance, it may be worth your time and money looking for routes that are longer that does not have so much traffic. Just as the same way you are wasting time and fuel idling your vehicle, is the same way time and fuel is being wasted driving.
This means that you might also be in the vehicle for a long time when you are in heavy traffic than if you were to take a route that is longer but does not have much traffic.
Some parts of the country are even worse for emissions of fuels than other parts of the country. When you are choosing a route to use, look for areas that will assist you to reduce high emissions as will it not only help the environment but also will it help you save fuel. In areas that are low-speed limited, fuel consumption and productions growing significantly. Whenever Possible, try to avoid areas that tend to create very high emissions, possibly use the route with the least number of stop signs and traffic lights.
8 Avoid driving during rainy days
Most people do not know that it is not advisable to drive during a rainy day, this might be out of ignorance or just lack of the knowledge. These are the people who drive when it is raining and then end up complaining that their cars are consuming a lot of fuel. There is an additional loss of energy when a person is driving through slicks on a road that is wet, this is because the treads of the tire have to apply for work so that it can eject water. The one way to look at it is that the tires of the vehicle keep on trying to slide on top of the water but are repeatedly sinking for it to meet with the pavement, which is the same as driving slightly uphill.
The engine and transmission friction rise in temperatures that are cold, this is due to cold engine oil and other drive-line fluids. The pressure of the tire reduces in temperatures that are cold, thus making the rolling resistance more. The performance of the battery reduces in a cold weather too, making it even difficult for your alternator to maintain the charge of your battery. This also alters the performance of the reformative braking system on hybrids.
7 Avoid accelerating sharply
The faster a person drives, the more fuel the person consumes. Therefore, it actually only makes sense to stick to the recommended speed restrictions. In addition to that, whenever you are not driving fast, you are not at the risk of getting into accidents or even being pulled over by the police and eventually end up paying fines. More than half of the power your engine consumes is meant to overcome resistance from the wind, and the quicker you are driving, the quicker your vehicle faces resistance from the wind. This means that you are going to use more gas.
For example, if a person is driving at a speed of 110 kilometers per hour, the person will be burning 25% more gas than if they were driving along at 90 kilometers per hour.
The always rising cost of gas nowadays is another reason for a person to drive within the speed limits. Driving at a high speed will make both your gas and electric engines to run at the same time. Maintain your vehicle in EV mode as much as possible through speeding gently. A driver should also watch the dashboard fuel-economy display which is present in most hybrid cars. This will assist you to see the kind of driving habits you need to change to so that you can get the most from your car.
6 Choosing a high-quality engine oil
Research has proven that another cause of high usage of gas money is using unnecessary or even bad oil for the engines of their vehicles. People tend to buy just any oil provided that it works with the engine. The engine of your car is a very crucial part hence requires maximum maintenance. It is important that you choose the right octane gas for your vehicle. You should check the owner's manual so that you may know what octane gas your engine needs.
Octane evaluations measure fuel's ability to fight engine knock. But then again, the higher the quality of the octane, the higher the costs used. It is estimated that only about 6 percent of vehicles that are sold need premium gas. Nonetheless, premium gas is responsible for about 10 percent of all fuel that is sold. You should try to resist the need to buy higher octane fuel just so you can get “premium" performance. Premium, high-octane gases are not essentially the best fuel choice for your vehicle. Prices which are higher do not guarantee the user better performance. As a matter of fact, such gases do not offer any better fuel efficiency. Most vehicles are designed to use normal low-octane gas.
5 Monitor when and how you use the brakes
Applying brakes instantly does not waste fuel in itself. However, if you get the need to apply hard brakes you have already consumed the fuel getting up to a speed that you cannot be able to sustain. Also, if you brake excessively, then you have to waste more gas trying to get back up to your average speed. Maintaining a speed that is constant is not always possible, but by maintaining your distance, looking properly ahead and anticipating when you will get the need to slow down your speed, and picking off the accelerator pedal early rather than braking late, makes you save fuel. If you are continually braking and speeding, then you are inserting more gas into the engine than you would be if you maintained your constant speed.
Whenever you come to a stop, you have to regain your initial speed again. That is why vehicles get better mileage on the highway than in the city. It is much cheaper to watch well ahead and stop speeding a little bit sooner, that way the obstacle may well clear ahead of you and let you slide through steadily. However, do not take this tip to excess, a vehicle is fitted with brakes for them to be used and it is far much better to waste a little bit of gas by braking than damaging your front bumper.
4 Close the windows whenever possible
Once you are driving at about 48 kilometers per hour, your vehicle consumes more energy so that it may be able to overcome resistance from the wind than it does fighting rolling resistance. Therefore, you want your vehicle to be as aerodynamic as possible for easy driving on the highway. Whenever you are driving, when you are having your sunroof open or windows open you may result in an increase in drag a little at higher speeds. If a person leaves a roof box or bike rack on they might experience a larger consequence, but approximations vary broadly on this from a 1% to a 15% decrease in the economy of fuel.
When you are driving at low speeds, at least, the losses associated with fuel economy related to rolling down your windows are minute. Nonetheless, as your footsteps harder on the gas pedal, the condition quickly begins to turn.
This is because drag rises with the square of speed. Thus, when you are driving along the highway, all that wind whips through your open windows starts to take a major toll. It is advisable to be wise with the window tip too. This is because in as much as you want to save on gas money is as much as you want to save your life. You would not like getting health complications due to poor ventilation in your car
3 Be a smooth operator
Speeding up quickly on your push bicycle creates a strain on your legs, and it is not any different for your vehicle. However, moving too slowly might also limit fuel economy if it makes you maintain lower gears for long periods of time in a place where the fuel economy is poor. In your mind, you may want to use 15 to 20 seconds to reach to 80 kilometers per hour. This would involve combining a comparatively gentle start using a low gear but with a quicker shift through the middle gears just before stopping at an economic speed which is 40 to 50 meters per hour using top gears.
The moment that you have come to an efficient speed, it is always good to maintain a constant speed, this makes you avoid wasting a lot of energy on decelerating and then accelerating all over again. For maximum efficiency of fuel use to be achieved, you need to stop being a careless driver and start driving smoothly because by the end of the day you will be the one ending up to pay way much more on fuel just because of mistakes that could have been avoided very easily.
2 Work with gravity
Some people often mistake gravity for the enemy. You could actually use gravity to your advantage of having to save fuel. Working with gravity, compared to working against it, is something hyper-milers advocate on hills. Giving your car permission to go slightly slower up a hill, then when going down the other side using the gear will help you maximize economy by exchanging some kinetic energy for the potential energy of it being higher.
This particular tactic should only be applied whenever it is safe to do so. You should make sure that there are no obstacles in your way as you go down in order to avoid crushing on it. If you do so, probably you will end up using very little gas and there is a possibility you may end up using none at all when going down a hill, but when going up a hill, a portion of your driving has already used more fuel than the corresponding flat commute, thus the "savings" of going down a hill using gravity really means you are not making your usage even higher. You might want to give gravity a try, it might turn out to be helpful to you.
1 Spending less time driving
You can try everything else so that you may save on fuel money but the best way of not using much fuel is by not using it at all. This means that you can try reducing the number of times you drive your vehicle on the road. This way you will end up saving a lot of money that would have been wasted on fuel. If it is reasonable and possible, you may try to set up a carpool system with your neighbors or even people you work with. This means that you can agree to be using one car to go to work or back home, this way everyone will end up saving a lot of money since you all use one route.
You should also limit the number of trips you make to the market and other outdoor events using your car. How about giving walking a consideration rather than driving to a restaurant for a lunch break. Joining errands into one trip will help you save you time and money. Numerous trips which are short, taken from the beginning can use two times as much fuel as a longer trip which serves a multipurpose covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
Sources: Forbes.com, caranddriver.com, jalopnik.com